When we take psychoactive drugs, the main thing that we are experiencing is the power of our perception and subjective, inner interpretations to change our world. Because these drugs such as LSD, mushrooms, DMT and MDMA work so quickly and forcefully they can offer us a chance to see that all reality is mind, a truth largely veiled from us during our ordinary lives. The flip side is, involvement with drugs may weaken the development of personal power, discernment and spiritual intelligence which is required to eventually find and face this truth in a sustainable way, in this very moment.
When I was a child, around 4 or 5 years old, I had a fever. Just like the Pink Floyd song! I remember my mom chasing me around the kitchen table as I was running around screaming and thought I was going to die. After that episode and later that night I kept going in and out of the void. It was a strange and completely empty place in which there was no time and any shapes or objects were ones which I conjured and their existence, characteristics and relative distance were all purely subjective. It was a realm of pure subjectivity, absent of time, a self, existence and even space except for the orbs that I both conjured and instantaneously placed in relation to each other. These orbs created the only space there was. I got to play in this void all night and I remember wanting to get back to it when I slipped out of it. Had I been a hardened adult with many layers of “complexity,” I may not have had the courage, patience or openness to stay and play as long as I did.
One of the greatest tools in daily life I’ve found for unlearning what is ultimately necessary to unlearn is a tantric game of seeing everything throughout your day as illusion. This practice is ultimately what is found in “A Course in Miracles” and is, in essence, identical to Vipassana meditation (watching the arising, staying and passing of all phenomena) and the Sufi practice of “remembrance.” A byproduct of this practice is that it strengthens concentration and mindfulness because it is not dependent on seated meditation and can be practiced constantly, morning to night. Unlike drug use, this practice does not seek to escape mundane existence but rather to see into the heart of it and allow yourself to grow “into” it, ultimately transforming mundane existence into a state of clear seeing. And though it sounds a bit radical, it is radically committed to truth so it creates not only insight but also personal power.
Part of the difficulty with this practice is that societal norms in our dream world dictate that we play along with the dream, so it does take a bit of practice to keep seeing things as illusion. You quickly figure out that in order to practice this constant remembrance, you need to start seeing your self as illusion because these societal norms are ingrained in your body and mind and this is where they really exist – not “out there” somewhere. When we turn our focus inward we now have a new tantric game to play – removing delusion or “stop believing your own BS and acting like a robot asshole!” Now we are trying to function 24/7 with real spiritual intelligence, not relying on some religion or books or fantasy. We are getting to the heart of reality, the truth of existence, and we are developing the personal power to ignore the noise and go our own way.
And this brings us to an important part of being honest about what’s real. I know it may sound like fantasy to some but it is not – the old, contentious ego world is the fantasy. The ego is the strongest drug. And the only one it’s fooling is itself. I see people trying to be “strong” and “fighting” for their views and I know that this is just setting them up for a great fall. I see people chasing after sparkling dust and I know they are completely wasting a precious and rare opportunity to evolve. People think they need to be hard, but they need to be soft. People think they need to be right, but they need to be wrong. People think they need to be strong, but they need to be weak. It is that softness, wrongness and weakness that takes us deeper into truth and eventually transforms us into truth itself, giving us real power to align with creation. Because our world has been so brutal some people need drugs to cope or escape, but this is not the way it should be. Because the hard and strong take advantage of the weak and honest we have created imbalance. But everyone’s dues will be paid in full and no one can escape the ocean of humanity by any other means than “turning around,” as in Plato’s cave. A hit of transcendence is nice, but becoming something else altogether and finding the power that lies on the other side of weakness is incomparably greater. If drugs have shown you truth, that’s fantastic but you have not gained freedom. Freedom comes from transforming the boring, mundane life into that truth.